May 19, 2000

CONTACT: Nancy Mida




YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University's Department of Accounting has received $1.7 million in business software and technical support from the Oracle Corporation.

With the gift, EMU becomes the first university in Michigan to join the Oracle Academic Initiative, which provides software, curriculum and training resources, solely for classroom teaching and educational purposes, to several institutions throughout the country and worldwide.

The EMU accounting department provided a Sun server, valued at more than $25,000, to facilitate use of the new software. Alumni and other donors provided this funding.

"Now, we can provide students with hands-on experience using Oracle's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software," said Professor S. Thomas Cianciolo, head of EMU's accounting department.

"Learning on this software will differentiate EMU graduates from others entering the professional world in that they will have first-hand experience in the Oracle products that numerous companies are using," said Patrick Gannon, applied technologist with Oracle Corporation and a 1992 graduate of EMU's accounting department.

"Our accounting information system program has been on the leading edge since it was created in 1984 by Professors Mohsen Sharifi and John Keros. Recognition of our academic program by Oracle Corporation validates what we have accomplished over the last 15 years," Cianciolo said.

"Enterprise Resource Planning (or supply chain planning) is a fairly recent movement that allows a company to program their entire operation and tie all components together," Cianciolo said. "EMU accounting students will concentrate on the financial modules, learning the theory and use of ERP, particularly as it relates to the financial aspects of managing a company."

Major corporations utilizing the software in southeast Michigan include Kelly Services, William Beaumont Hospital, Huron Valley Steel, Johnson Controls and Great Lakes Gas.

Classes utilizing the browser-based Oracle software will include special topics, Accounting Information Systems and a capstone course, all taught by Professors Sharifi and Gary McCombs on the EMU campus. Other courses will be developed throughout the College of Business curriculum in Human Resources, Supply Chain and Customer Resource Management.

Oracle Corporation, based in Redwood City, Calif., is the world's second largest software company. With annual sales of more than $9.7 billion, Oracle provides the software that powers the Internet.

For more information on the Oracle Corporation gift, contact Nancy Mida at the EMU Foundation, 734.484.3237. For program information, contact Professor Thomas Cianciolo, 734.487.3320.